Starz‘s Black Sails XXVII. TV Show Review. Black Sails: Season 3, Episode 9: XXVII. was the beginning of the erosion of Governor Woodes Rogers (Luke Roberts)’s authority on the streets of Nassau. Woodes had his trusted consort and chief advisor, Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), to thank for the new reality that he will awaken into eventually.
Woodes was right all along. He was right about Guthrie’s nature, he was right about her defaulting to it when pushed. Captain Charles Vane (Zach McGowan) hit Guthrie with the truth about her father in Vane’s jail cell and Guthrie knew it. Vane destroyed the last remnants of the false image of her father that Guthrie still harbored. In that moment in Vain cell, she truly realized for the first time how little she meant to her father and she raged against the bearer of that truth. It was an impressive display, the death rattle of a lie, though it ended with a scream that curiously brought no prison guards running.
Guthrie let her rage, under the guise of doing “the right thing,” undo everything on the streets of Nassau that the Governor and Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy) had sought to suppress, supplant, and stabilize. By hanging Vane in public after a quickie, improvised trial, Guthrie poured gasoline onto the situation and lit a match. Max tried to warn Eleanor about the incendiary nature of what she was about to do but all Eleanor could see was revenge. It was devilish how Eleanor said it was the governor’s decision to kill Vane when it was really hers. When Woodes wakes up and learns of Eleanor’s actions, what will be his decision about her? Woodes has only himself to blame since it was he who appointed Guthrie his viceroy.
Mrs. Mapleton (Fiona Ramsay)’s insight into Eleanor Guthrie’s mentality and decision-making (how Eleanor only saw herself in the eyes of those that would eventually destroy her) further illustrated the doomed path that Eleanor was on.
The people of the streets of Nassau saw Guthrie killing Vane, not the governor, not the governor’s advisers or soldiers. The street will see it as an act of revenge, the much-feared (and loathed) return of Eleanor Guthrie. Billy Bones (Tom Hopper) and his retinue will make sure the street sees it that way.
Woodes will probably have an insurrection to deal, when he wakes up, with his soldiers disappearing on the streets of Nassau and never being seen again.
The viewer probably never thought of Captain Charles Vane as particular bright but he proved himself to be no dunce by his decision to let his hanging go forward. Because of his hanging, suppressed sentiment will be unleashed. Fear of retribution will be subdued. Vane picked his last words very carefully and literally walked toward his death with his head held high. It was an inspiring death, his last act of defiance, his last gift to his dream of a liberated and self-ruled Nassau.
Though it was an inspired move, I do not believe that Captain Vane had any hope that his death would effect Blackbeard (Ray Stevenson) in any way, shape, or form. Vane thought he was dead in Blackbeard’s eyes. Vane had no idea that Blackbeard looked upon him as a son, an heir, and as his legacy.
Watching Blackbeard take-in the news of Vane’s death was like watching a pot of water slowly come to a boil. The question is where will Blackbeard take his fleet of ships? To a nearly defenseless Nassau or to the Maroon Island Battle? I believe it will be the latter. Blackbeard will wait until battle is joined between the Walrus and Britain and attack the British from the rear, surprising them and cutting off their retreat. Blackbeard will not allow any of those ships to escape his wraith. He will fight for revenge. He will fight for Vane’s memory.
The conversation between Captain James Flint (Toby Stephens) and Quartermaster John Silver (Luke Arnold) was just as insightful into Quartermaster Silver’s decision-making as it was into Captain Flint’s experience and current mentality. Flint knew exactly what Silver had thought and felt when he learned that one of his men had disobeyed his order and attacked one of the Marooners. The counsel that Flint gave Silver was sound and timely (before the battle, before a terrible mistake was made that Silver couldn’t undo). It also showed that the two of them were on the same mental path, the former being further along it than the latter thus Flint being able to dispense accurate information about the path’s strengths and pitfalls.
The broadside landing of the Walrus at the Maroon Island in XXVII. was a brilliant maneuver and was once again a movie-grade sequence topped by fitting music and a discrete use of CGI. That scene, no doubt, was a prelude to what the viewer will see during the finale episode of this season.
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